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Verses 1-2

"And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech. And it came to pass as they journeyed east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there."

"The whole earth ... one language ... one speech ..." Since all people at that time were descendants of Noah, therefore being one family, it could scarcely have been any other way than as stated here.

"They journeyed east ..." The older versions read "from the east" (KJV), and "when they removed from the east" (Douay), etc.; and many current scholars assure us that the original here "actually says, from the east."[4] Some insist, however, that, "The Hebrew is uncertain here,"[5] and that the place should be rendered "eastward," since that conforms better with where it is thought that the people lived at that time. We should accept the words as they have come down to us. Men really do not have enough information to justify their adjusting God's Word to say what they think it should have said. Sure, it does seem strange in the light of facts revealed as to where the ark rested and the directions later given for the dispersion of Noah's posterity. Nevertheless, the notion that such migrations could have been in a single direction only is precarious indeed. We are not at all embarrassed by many things in the sacred record that we simply cannot explain or account for at all, but we glory in the grace of God that enables us to believe it anyway. We have great confidence that if we knew all the facts, the perfect understanding of many arcane passages in the Bible would be the result.

"Plain in the land of Shinar ..." This is the great plain upon which Nimrod built Babylon and other cities. The Septuagint reads "Babylonia" here for "Shinar." "It is the land wherein were situated the great cities of Babylon, Erech, and Akkad."[6] In Zechariah (Zechariah 5), there is the vision of the ephah basket with a woman in it (probably the image of a goddess) symbolizing Wickedness (Zechariah 5:8); and when Zechariah asked where she was being taken, an angel revealed to him, that, "They bear the ephah to build her a house in the land of Shinar: and when it is prepared, she shall be set there in her own place" (Zechariah 5:11). This prophetic revelation shows that it was the establishment and enthronement of wickedness in Shinar that constituted the great error visible in this event at Babel. In all ages to come, Babylon would be the symbol of civilization in its corporate organization opposed to God in pride, arrogance, and defiance. It was literally true that the cancer that began here at the tower of Babel was to form a metastasis in every great city of the earth for all ages to come, making Babylon the "Mother of harlots and abominations" of the earth, not merely in the religious connotations of the current dispensation, but also in the political developments ever afterward from the foundation of Babylon.

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